The History and Evolution of Tablet Computers [Infographic]

by: - Last updated on: December 17th, 2016

For many non-geeks, the launch of iPad was the dawn of tablet computers. Obviously that isn’t true. Even before 1950s, there were some research done on touchscreen tablets. But the first commercially available tablet computer was the GRiDPad in 1989, which was based on MS-DOS!

From there, the tablet computer technology constantly evolved to what we see and use now – the iPads & the Xooms. iPad, released by Apple in 2010 was the first commercial success. The infographic below, prepared by Android Tablet Fanatic gives a nice overview of the history and evolution of tablet computers.

Make sure you click on the image to see the specifics in full size.


It gives us a nice idea about how the designs of various tablets over the years paved way for the concept behind iPad and other android tablets we use now.

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  1. Forgot to mention the Blackberry Playbook. If you mention the Apple and Android systems then you should also mention the Blackberry QNX system and to some degree a Window’s tablet as well.

  2. You missed one of the most important in the context of the iPad, the Apple Newton (1993-1998) that introduced much of the GUI that inspired both Palm, Archos, and (of course) the iPad later…! Many people seem to have forgotten (or are too young to know?) that the iPad was not Apple’s first tablet.

    Some of these tablet concepts were also presented in Apple’s famous Knowledge Navigator video in 1987, which was a public video (unlike today, when Apple is so secretive). You can find copies of the video on YouTube. Unlike the Newton, the Knowledge Navigator was just a mockup, but it was well known back then.